Case Studies

Freedom Industries Inc.

Safety and integrity at work in North Carolina's big industry sector

For Freedom Industries Inc. (Freedom), 2014 marks 10 years in business. Over the course of the last decade, the North Carolina-based electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, custom metal fabrication and general construction contractor has established symbiotic relationships with big industry players. “Our focus on safety and quality has allowed us to be on a limited bidder list,” reveals Doug Ezzell, founder and president of Freedom. “We’re not out there bidding against 12 contractors every day. It’s a very select group working for these clients.”

Ezzell established Freedom in 2004, fulfilling his dream of small-business ownership. “It was something I had wanted to do since the late 1970s,” he recalls. “Even though the dream was always there, it took many years for the timing to be right.”

From the start, Freedom was a mold of Ezzell’s background in commercial and industrial electrical construction. “I served as vice president at another multifaceted construction firm for many years,” he recounts. “In 2004, Freedom initiated as an industrial and commercial electrical contractor; and in its second year, we launched a mechanical division. We have since added plumbing, HVAC, custom metal fabrication and general construction services.”

Big industry in the backyard

Based in Rocky Mount, N.C., Freedom serves a broad spectrum of clients, with many being in the pharmaceutical and food processing industries. “What sets us apart is targeting those industries and putting forth the effort and expense required to maintain an industry-leading safety rating,” explains Ezzell. “We’re highly dedicated to our mission: to work with all of our hearts in everything we do, with quality and integrity as if we are working for the Lord and not for men.”

Ezzell goes on to explain that the company’s core values – quality, integrity, respect, accountability, servant leadership and stewardship – also guide Freedom as the team strives to provide the highest quality product possible to customers.

Freedom’s new 18,000-square-foot facility, along with a 16,000-square-foot fabrication shop, is built to serve some of the largest corporations in the southeast, such as Merck, DSM, Grifols, Butterball, Sanderson Farms, Perdue, Cargill, Malt-O-Meal, Sabra and many more.

“Freedom is located near Research Triangle Park, a geographical area established by the state of North Carolina in conjunction with business and academic leaders to attract research, pharmaceutical and other industry to the state,” states Ezzell. “This allows for many opportunities within our area.”

Building partnerships

From leading pharmaceutical conglomerates to food processors, the automotive industry and universities, such as UNC, NCSU and ECU, Freedom delivers diversified service across the board. “Freedom is currently involved with a project at a pharmaceutical facility about 40 miles away,” details Ezzell. “We’re implementing a new packaging line as part of an addition to the new facility and installing the electrical process controls. The project for us will total about $1.5 million.”

Ezzell notes that the team is also doing a $3 million project for an in-shell peanut processing facility. “It’s set for completion in spring 2014,” he adds.

Freedom continues to win bids for its willingness to go above and beyond for a client. “We recently completed a $14 million project for a food processor that included a 250,000-square-foot addition to their facility that started with an underground package,” reveals Ezzell. “Over the course of the job we developed a partnership with the construction management firm and the owner for the installation of the electrical process controls. As a result of our partnership, Freedom was able to negotiate the extra work in lieu of undergoing a competitive bidding process. It stretched us a bit, but we completed the project on time and the owner was very pleased with the quality of our work. In addition we developed a relationship with the construction management group through which a number of other opportunities have emerged for us.”

Quality with integrity

As more and more doors open and new opportunities and clients arise, Freedom remains committed to upholding quality with integrity. Ezzell says integrity is a matter of what you do when no one is watching, which allows for no shortcuts and a focus on safety as a first priority.

“Our focus on safety is not to garner work, but to ensure that our team members – husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters – go home at the end of the day the way they came to work,” he explains. “That’s why we employ two full-time safety inspectors and work very hard to develop a culture of safety throughout our company.’

Every team member Freedom hires must complete a safety orientation, including job specific hazard awareness, as well as a drug screening. “We’re not in the most hazardous industry, but the dangers are still real and we want our people to go home healthy,” adds Ezzell. “We view our team members as family. We want to take care of them and that is why we offer leading industry benefits, as well.”

Ezzell has plans of giving back to the people who have made Freedom a success over its first 10 years as the company strives to expand in the future. “We actually grew through the recession and we’re projecting that growth to continue as a result of our strategic planning process,” he continues.

Freedom Industries Inc. offers a one-stop shop for a range of electrical, mechanical, HVAC, general construction and custom fabrication services, backed by a commitment to quality with integrity and an industry-leading safety rating.

Published on: August 22, 2014

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